CIO and CEO objectives for the next five years are becoming increasingly aligned, while interest in cloud and business intelligence has increased, according to IBM.
The three most important focus areas for CIOs and CEOs are to strengthen customer relationships, develop employee skills and gain insight and intelligence for data, according to research carried out by IBM which involved talking to more than 3,000 CIOs around the world.
"CIOs are much more aligned and integrated with the business and are much more aligned with the C-suite, and in particular their CEOs," executive partner in IBM Global Business Services Luke Robertson said when discussing the survey results.
IBM has also indentified four mandates - or business expectations - given to CIOs in addition to their remit of running IT, which differ depending on the type of business they operate in.
The mandates are to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of existing operations, expand existing business processes and enhance collaboration, transform processes through improved supplier relationships, and pioneer in products, markets and business models.
"Most CIOs are seeing that the importance of their role and the importance of technology to their business has grown significantly since 2009," Robertson added.
In terms of technology, cloud computing and analytics are now higher on the agenda for CIOs than in 2009, when the same study was last conducted.
Of the CIOs surveyed around the world, 60 per cent said they are ready to adopt cloud computing in the next five years to expand their business and achieve competitive advantage. This figure is nearly double the proportion of CIOs who held that view in 2009, when one-third said they would use cloud computing to achieve competitive advantage.
With the increasing amount of data organisations are dealing with, the ability for cloud computing to provide access to data in a cost-efficient, always-available way is proving more attractive to CIOs, according to IBM.
Also related to the growth of data, 83 per cent of CIOs said business intelligence and analytics are a top priority for their organisation as they strive to get more value from the increasing amount of data.
That need to access data is resulting in some organisations turning to mobile computing, with 74 per cent of CIOs seeing mobile technology as a "game-changer" for their business – up from 68 per cent in 2009.
The study also found that simplification is a major priority for CIOs, with more than 80 per cent saying they're planning projects to simplify internal processes.
Focus areas that have fallen down the CIO agenda list compared with 2009 include virtualisation, risk management and compliance. According to IBM, this change is mainly due to virtualisation becoming more mainstream and dedicated risk officers having taken on the other functions in the intervening two years.